Friday 9 October 2009

The Potato Story; Chips are not made from Potatoes...

... And potatoes do not grow in the ground. Oh no, chicken's in fact lay potatoes.

You might be forgiven for thinking that I have gone a little crazy but according to a recent survey carried out by McCain, 1 in 5 children aged between 7 and 11 do not know that potatoes grow in the ground, with 1 in 10 believing that they are instead, a product of chickens. I have to wonder where these children believe eggs originate. 1 in 5 children are also not aware that chips are in fact potatoes.

I find the results of this survey worrying. Our children need to understand where their food comes from in order to develop healthy eating habits. McCain share this opinion and have started their 'Its all good' campaign in order to educate and guide consumers and children towards healthy eating habits and active lives. As part of this campaign they have launched 'The Potato Story'. This interactive learning experience takes the form of a double decker bus, which is taken to schools across the country and introduces children to the story of how the humble potato is grown, harvested and cooked.

The bus, has already visited over 130 UK primary schools but McCain have decided to extend the programme and visit a further 30 schools throughout September - November 2009. They have also launched a website at  where there are games for children, as well as resources for parents and teachers.

Do take a look and if you have children of any age, think about how you present food to them. Tell them what is on their plate, what the ingredients are and where they come from. You might be surprised how interested they are and just by talking about food you will be educating them about healthy eating. And when you see the sparks of interest perhaps you will be inspired to grow something. You don't need to have a garden, or even a plant pot. Any old container will do; yoghurt pots, cardboard tubes from loo roll, empty margarine tubs. Growing herbs indoors is easy to do or if you want something less leafy try Red Robin tomatoes. They grow into very small but very productive tomato plants and look lovely and colourful on a kitchen window sill.  Just give it a go. Its fun and you might just prevent your child from believing that chickens lay potatoes.

And if the bus has visited a school near you do let me know. I am really interested to know how the campaign is going and in quiet support of educating our children about food, over the next few Fridays I will publish a series of posts with simple ideas to get your children involved in growing and preparing food.

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